Re: David Kautz's letter about not using sail slugs.
Tue, 25 May 1999 09:42:32 -0700

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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One more question related to slugs (and then I'll put the issue back in my sock
drawer), then I want to disagree with you about sailing under jib only -

On the few occasions that I sailed my boat when it had slugs, I never had to
reef. How does the addition of slugs affect the reefing process? Do you have to
remove the stop and drop a few slugs out or can you work around the
accumulation of slugs and get the cringle over the hook?

Now, about sailing under jib only: Just a couple weeks ago I joined the Potter
Yachters outing at Bruno's Island in the Delta with my youngest son (14 yrs) and
one of his friends. I think most of the folks there would describe the weekend
as pretty windy. We had a nice sail in the morning under reefed main and jib,
met up with group (all the P-19s under power, all the P-15s under sail - go
figure) and learned that there had already been a P-15 capsized and turtled
(ouch!). We returned to Bruno's to get situated and have lunch.

Around mid-afternoon, despite the good company, I began to get restless and
think about going out for another sail even though the wind had gotten even
stronger. With assurances from Jerry that he was going out shortly (so we
wouldn't be alone out there) I gathered my crew and we headed out. Once out of
the slough, we turned into the wind and raised the reefed main only. As you have
already pointed out the boat sails just fine that way though we did get stopped
by chop a couple times when coming about and had tack "tall ship style", backing
out of irons onto the new tack.

We made surprising distance in a short amount of time despite having only a
patch of sail showing and set our sights on one of the channel markers as a turn
around point. Reaching that, we dropped the main and raised the jib for the
downwind run back. To give the rig some extra support, we tightened the topping
lift and brought the mainsheet in tight on the centerline. Although we weren't
at hull speed, I'd estimate we were making 3 to 4 knots through the water with
only 23 square feet of sail up.

The boat is very easy to control downwind with just the jib pulling it along. I
let the kids take the helm while I enjoyed a beer and a snack. We watched Jerry
and some of the others show us the bottom of a P-19 (heeled well over in a
gust). As we approached the slough to the island and turned so that the wind was
on our beam I was pleasantly surprised to find that the boat still sailed well
under only the jib. Turning in to the slough I started the engine and left it
idling under the assumption that we would need it imminently, as we now had the
wind about 45 degrees off our bow. There was definite lee helm but the boat was
_still sailing_ with only the jib. I think the only way to do this is to get the
boat moving first on a beam reach or more until there is plenty of water flowing
over the rudder, then turn up towards the wind. We ended up sailing all the way
to our slip and blipped the motor only at the very last to get docked upwind. I
was pleasantly surprised and quite impressed with how well the boat sailed under
jib only. From my one experience that day I would estimate that it's not
possible to sail any higher than 45 degrees apparent into the wind, but frankly,
that is better than I expected.

Dave Kautz
P-15 #1632 Tilly Lucy
Palo Alto, CA

-------------------------------Reply Seperator-------------------------------

Yes, David, I always drop the jib first. The boat will definitely sail under
main alone, but will in no way sail under jib alone. You have verified my
assumption that there was a problem with the slugs and the installation of
same, not in the concept of using the slugs. If the bolt rope works for you,
great. That is why the boat is made with the bolt rope in the first place.

P-15 Lollipop
N. Lake Tahoe, NV